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Nine-Banded Armadillo


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Nine-Banded Armadillos are timid, armored mammals that live in warm grasslands and forests from South America up to the southern United States. Nine-Banded Armadillos made their way to the US from Mexico in the 1800's. They are now quite numerous in the southern US. This armadillo is the state animal of Texas.

These armadillos are burrowers who dig underground dens and can jump 3 ft (1 m) straight up into the air. Many armadillos are killed when they are run over by cars.

Anatomy: Armadillos are protected by plates of bony armor covered with skin. The Nine-Banded Armadillo is the size of a cat, about 1.5 feet (46 cm) long.

Diet: Armadillo are primarily insectivores (insect-eaters). They dig into the earth using their large claws to find food. They use their long tongue to get ants, beetles, termites, worms, grubs, other small animals and eggs. They have peg-like teeth.

Reproduction: The Nine-Banded Armadillo always has identical quadruplets (4 babies that come from one egg).

Classification: Class Mammalia (mammals), Order Edentata (anteaters, sloths, and armadillos), Family Dasypodidae (armadillos), Genus Dasypus, Species D. novemcintus.

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